Taking on the business world

Renee Manning and Ellie Yarbrough visit one of the businesses in BizTown.
Clinton City Schools has had a partnership with Junior Achievement for many years.

Due to the generosity of community and business leaders, each class across the district participates in Junior Achievement classes.

These classes teach real-life skills in personal finance, economy, marketing, public speaking, teamwork, and much more.

One of the highlights of this program is the fifth grade trip to BizTown, which is a miniature city within the walls of the East Tennessee Junior Achievement Building. Students participate in classroom lessons prior to attending BizTown Day.

The lessons focus on managing a personal checkbook, marketing a business, using the law of supply/demand, setting price structures to create a profit, learning about donating/philanthropy, and several other concepts.

The purpose of BizTown is to allow students to put their learning into an authentic experience as they maneuver a day in the life of a working adult.

Students spend time in the city of BizTown both as a consumer and worker. Each student is given a specific job, a check book, debit card, and savings account. They take their jobs very seriously as they earn wages which can be spent during their time as a consumer.

During their short lunch break, they must eat, go to the post office, and open a savings account at the bank. Quickly, students feel the stress of managing both professional and personal business in such a short time frame.

In addition, they are asked to manage cash and pay taxes. City meetings are held during the day where the mayor (a student) addresses the city members on pressing issues.

When walking into BizTown, visitors see students hustling and bustling.

There is no time for rest because there is much to be done.

Through this simulation, students experience the perfect blending of classroom academic standards and real-life situations. Upon exiting the bus, one student reported, “I am exhausted.This working business is tiring.”

The BizTown experience is one that students will remember for many years to come.

It requires a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication on the part of each teacher and parent volunteer.

However, seeing students take their role as a community member so seriously as they culminate all their learning makes it worth it.

This is one of the many programs implemented in CCS as part of the focus in developing well-rounded students.